In this strategy series, CoinPoker’s Chief Community Manager and pro poker player Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier walks you through the basics of the game. Each No Mercy Monday comes with expert advice on how to play, and it all starts with starting hands.
Knowing how to play your starting hands is part of the very basic strategies in No Limit Hold’em Poker and we covered that in the previous weeks when looking at premium, risky, and mediocre hands. This time we’ll be looking at the second most important concept in poker: position.
We learned how your position works in last week’s intro to table positions, and we will see over the next weeks how to take advantage of theses position. Today’s edition will continue by explaining how to play from the blinds.
Starting Hands vs. Position
Last week we looked at all the different positions around a poker table and I mentioned that understanding this concept was a huge breakthrough in my early days of poker. Indeed, the concept of position is often undervalued by novices, or simply unknown from amateurs who will play any hand from any spot, while it is actually one of the first thing to consider before entering a pot.
Indeed, when you are in early positions, you will be inclined to play fewer hands, as opposed to playing from late positions, where you will want to open up your game and your range of starting hands.
When you put that notion into perspective with the first chapter of these series of tips concerning the starting hands, you could start by following these general guidelines to know what type of cards to play from which spot:
- Early Positions: Premium hands only
- Middle Positions: Premium and Drawing hands
- Late Positions: Premium, Drawing and Risky hands
Do not forget to be aware of your game style and the information that you are giving to your opponents”
Do not forget to be aware of your game style and the information that you are giving to your opponents. Indeed, if you systematically follow these recommendations, everyone will know what cards you hold at any given moment. While it is important to stick with an optimum strategy, it is also important to vary your game and change gears in order to stay unpredictable.
Sometimes, you will have to raise under-the-gun with small suited connectors in order to show to your opponents that you do not only play big pairs from this spot. When you will do to the showdown with such drawing hands played from an early position, it will destabilize your opponents and it will be more difficult for them to read you.
Join me twice a week in the Hubble Bubble tournaments to practice your skills and try to win my 2000 CHP bounty!
– Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier